How Many Sales Associates Do You Need?

How many sales people do I need? Well, that’s easy, take your total sales for the last five years, no…the last 10 years…well maybe we can use the last 7 years… anyway, take that number, ( NO not what you paid taxes on, the REAL number) get the average of that time period. ( if you can’t do that, then go back to sales).   Anyway take the average sales for the time period, figure out your gross sales, take that number multiply it by 20%.  Divide that number by half the days in 6 years.   Multiply that number by Pi and then carry the X… hell I have no idea how many you NEED.  I don’t think they taught me that in school.

Over the years it has always interested me how some companies we deal with are so good even when their prices are high  I can’t help but deal with them. By the way, if you don’t have one of those because it’s all about price.  Go back to sales.  I think the smart people call those strategic alliances.

You know the company, the one that you call and Bob answers the phone and is so focused on getting you what you need that you feel shocked he is so attentive, even though you only call every couple of months.  The funny part is Bob is just the receptionist.

So you ask for Accounts Receivable because your ***** bill is wrong.  John picks up the phone “Hello Darren what can I do for you today” I think, “boy, here we go”. Yet John listens to my rant and then says “ I am so sorry there is some confusion on your bill Darren let’s get to the bottom of this”  suddenly I feel like he actually cares?? WTH??? The longer I talk to John the more stunned I am as I hear him with his hand half covering the phone say to someone “ hey I’m on the phone with a VIP that will have to wait”…huh?? So after I get to the bottom of that I remember I need to order something else. I look up at the clock and see it’s 12:10 P.M and think “dang it Janice will be at lunch”. John hears the sigh and asks “is there something else WE can help with? “. I state in a frustrated voice, “well, I needed to talk to Janice about something but she is probably at lunch”. John says “ can you hold for a minute I’ll hunt Janice down” shockingly I say “sure”.

The next thing I know Cher (the freight gal) picks up the phone and with, what is obviously a mouth full of lunch, says “mithter SpArks chanith is coming , the is ust Washing her hands she be wight with you.  (Gulp) sorry Mr. Sparks we are in the lunch room grabbing a bite” suddenly I feel bad for interrupting their lunch.  I hear Cher laugh as Janice apologizes for having her pick up the phone  “ YES Darren how are you ?? What can I do for you?” I apologize for interrupting her lunch, “Always here to help” she says.

I discuss what I need and Janice says she will call me back in five. I agree. My phone rings in about five minutes but it’s Jimmy the new kid.  “Oh god” I think.  Jimmy is upbeat and sticks to the point, “Janice had a customer come in but wanted you to have the numbers you need, so she asked me to get this to you.  If you have any questions I will try and help and if I can’t answer it Janice will call you right back”.. I say in a slightly flattered voice “Thanks Jimmy” “anything for you Mr. Sparks thanks for the business!”…

I pull into to pick up my order where Johnny is quick to my truck , they are obviously swamped, “good morning what can I do for you” I say “here to pick up an order and I don’t have all day” Johnny without missing a beat “no problem, can you give me a name or order number?” Suddenly the loader is at my trailer, Johnny whistles like a sailor at the guys in the shop “ HEY, CAN YOU GUYS GIVE ME A HAND THIS VIP NEEDS TO GET MOVING.”  They are like ants building the load, helping me strap every piece in, all business but friendly at the same time.  Johnny picks up his radio. “Cher, think you could run Mr. Sparks’s paperwork out here he has a job to get to.” Suddenly I feel guilty as I really didn’t need to move that fast but…..

Ok enough with the story. How many sales people do you need? Well, All of them! If your entire organization is not sales centric and customer driven then you don’t have enough sales people.  I was told once by a wise old traveling salesman,“ Nothing happens until somebody sells something”.  All positions in a company are there to support one thing, what brings the money in. (No, not YOU sales team, that’s doesn’t make you the most important, sorry ) 🙂 What it means is; until your product or service is sold to generate revenue, which pays the overhead, then nothing happens.  No order is created, no order is picked, no truck is loaded, no invoice is created, no replacement inventory is ordered and no accounting department has to handle collection.

So how many sales people do you need?  Simple math?  Just add up how many people are in your organization. There’s your number!

Remember “Nothing Happens until somebody Sells Something” that could be a product, a service, clarification, transportation, loading, follow up or simply how you answer the phone.

If you are too busy to sell your company and yourself. You’ll eventually “busy” yourself right out of business.